A unit of Korean conglomerate Samsung was fined $32 million dollars for involvement in an Asian price fixing ring for a key computer monitor component, the US Justice Department said Friday.
Samsung SDI agreed to plead guilty to one felony charge in the case, which involved a pact to cut production, fix prices and divvy up market share for color display tubes (CDTs).
"Samsung SDI and co-conspirators exchanged CDT sales, production, market share and pricing information for the purpose of monitoring and enforcing adherence to their agreements," the department said in a statement.
It said that parties hashed out the deals in talks in Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, China and elsewhere.
Samsung SDI was the first company fined in the sprawling conspiracy dating back to 1997-2006. The Justice Department said six other people have been indicted in the past two years in the case.
Two of those, Wen Jun "Tony" Cheng and Cheng Yuan "CY" Lin, were executives of Taiwan's Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd, which was involved in a separate, sprawling conspiracy to fix prices of thin film transistor-liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) panels.
Twenty-two executives and eight companies, including firms from Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, have been charged in that ongoing investigation.
Some of the accused have pleaded guilty and agreed to pay fines totaling more than 890 million dollars.
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